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Summary:

The new Apple TV is shipping and you really, really want one. You think this is perfect for your old television, but then you realize you don’t have an HDMI or component input. But you really, really want one. How do you make this work? Fear […]

Apple TV + Adapters?The new Apple TV is shipping and you really, really want one. You think this is perfect for your old television, but then you realize you don’t have an HDMI or component input. But you really, really want one. How do you make this work?

Fear not, trusty readers. I have a theoretical solution.

If you’ve got standard composite inputs (the yellow, red and white ones) you can pick up a male HDMI to female DVI adapter for about $30 at Ram Electronics. Then you can get an Apple DVI to Video Adapter for another $20 from the Apple online store. The Apple DVI to Video Adapter works with Mac minis, so maybe it will work with the Apple TV.

Then you get yourself some composite cable — attach your HDMI to DVI adapter to your Apple TV, then attach your Apple DVI to Video adapter to that, attach a video cable to your DVI to Video adapter. Then hook up the audio to the audio jacks and you should be all set. If you’ve got a super-old television without composite inputs, you could pick up an RF modulator for about $20 at Radio Shack.

Does this actually work?  I don’t know because I don’t have an AppleTV.  Anyone want to try this?

  1. Yes it will probably work, but boy those adapters are expensive and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some serious loss in quality using that lot.

    Surely Apple will make a HDMI version of its Video adapter soon, if not already?

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  2. Great idea. Another option for those who have a component connection but it is used by your DVD player–get a component video switch or a home theater reciever with component video switching. You can pick up a low end HT receiver for around $225.

    Just wanted to let your readers know that our site http://www.hungryflix.com provides indie films and videos that are compatible with Apple TV.

    We are really excited that independent filmmakers and producers now have a direct path from web distribution directly to the family room. Very cool.

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  3. [...] don’t have anything more advanced than an S-video port, The Apple Blog’s Iyaz Akhtar has a suggestion: If you’ve got standard composite inputs (the yellow, red and white ones) you can pick up a [...]

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  4. If it does work, I expect the video would look sqished. AppleTV is only designed to work with 16×9 display and any TV without a component input is almost certainly 4×3. This would drive me crazy to see everything squeezed in. 4×3 video would probably still be squeezed and there would be black “pillar boxes” on the left & right side of the image.

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  5. I doubt that using a HDMI to DVI + a DVI to Composite adaptor would work…

    The DVI to video adaptor works because when it’s connected to a Mac mini, it tells the video card to produce a 640×480 60Hz NTSC formated signal. What the chip in the adaptor does it take the RGB signal and convert it into a composite luminosity/hue signal.

    Now, IF the Apple TV had a DVI connector, it could be theoretically possible to use this adaptor, but only if the Apple TV could switch to the 640×480 60Hz NTSC mode, but I doubt it would…

    But anyway the Apple TV doesn’t have DVI and what’s the main problem is that the HDMI to DVI adaptor wont make the Apple TV produce an NTSC signal just because you plug a DVI adaptor in it that request an NTSC signal.

    So to conclude, it wont work, I’m 99.9% sure.

    There are Component to Composite adaptors, but they’re the price of a small HD TV ($500).

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  6. But… I’m at a loss here, doesn’t the Apple TV have component output? And your old TV a SCART port (really common in Europe, don’t know about the US). A Component RGB SCART cable is just 10 euros or so.

    And if you don’t have SCART, couldn’t you use S-Video?

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  7. Your soluton will not work. The cheapest soluton is around USD 60,- for a component to s-video/vga convertor box… availble on the above mentioned RAM electronics website…

    Look on wikipedia for HDMI, Scart, DVI and s-video (composite)

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  8. re: vl-tone

    Do you have the DVI to composite out adapter? I do, and it does more than 640×480, just so you know. Granted, high resolutions flicker like a mad-man, but you can do much higher than 640×480, so this *could* work.. Doubtful it would look very good, but if I could try it without losing any money, I’d give it a whirl.

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  9. Ok, now I’m confused. I have a 4:3 SDTV with component in, but since SDTV only supports 480i, not 480p, I assumed Apple TV just wouldn’t work at all-not because of cabling, but because of resolution. Are you claiming its just a cabling issue?

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  10. I thinks that won’t work. If the Apple TV outputs 720p or 1080i, there’s no way to get a standard TV to play that, no matter what adapter you use. It’s like trying to play an HD TV channel in a normal television, it won’t tune.

    On the other hand, if the Apple TV is able to send a 480i or 480p feed, that’s a different story.

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